Abba and I are big on trying to instill an intense love of Judaism in Chamudi from an early age.
The most important part of this, I think, is a love of Shabbat.
Shabbat in our household is a day of sweetness. On Shabbat Chamudi gets juice, cookies, and cake. He gets to go to shul and see all his friends and sing silly songs and do fun dances. He gets to play with Ima and Abba a whole afternoon without interruption. It's a special day.
And he's starting to get it. Last week he started repeating the expression "on Shabbat" back to us and so we shifted into high gear. We'd eat the challah, we told him, "on Shabbat." We were buying new shirts to wear "on Shabbat." And on and on, clear through Shabbat day.
So imagine how happy I was at shul when he started wishing people "Hi Shabbat!" So cute. And on Monday, when he brought me the silk challah cover I had failed to put away and declared "on Shabbat," I knew that he was really beginning to understand.
I think our little love campaign is working. At cookie minyan this week, our just-barely-verbal little boy was asked what he was thankful for this week. He pointed to the big crate of stuffed Torah's and proudly proclaimed: Torah! Our jaws dropped. We were so proud!
Chamudi is only 1 1/2, and the adventure has really only just begun. No sooner did he learn the concept of "on Shabbat" than I found myself noting offhandedly things that we'd have to miss because they are "on Shabbat." So perhaps our biggest challenge will be teaching Chamudi to love the negative commandments as well as the positive ones.
But for now I am happy with the simplicity of our Shabbat sweetness, and the happiness that we find together "on Shabbat."